Tobacco Factory



18 - 31 July, Main Bar & The Snug

Europe's largest Street Art and Graffiti Festival.

Festival weekend: Saturday 23 - Monday 25 July

Explore the festival around Tobacco Factory's Upfest hub over the weekend. Upfest artwork on display throughout the whole month of July in our Main Bar and The Snug.



3 August - 4 September, Main Bar

“I paint what I never allowed myself to be”

Unable to choose between a monastic life and one “treading the boards”, Rachael Cawley selected tutelage as her chosen vocation, teaching art in schools and colleges for nearly forty years.

In 2007 she completed an M.A at Bristol studying Gothic Aesthetics and the illumination of narrative through layers of pattern and jeweled colours in both paint and thread. This body of research altered her work from abstract forms symbolizing strategy and positioning to figurative imagery with both horticultural and historical referencing.

Complex interwoven patterns loom through form, emerging into the light from the surrounding darkness only to fade once more. They are both decorative and transient…a visual history. Recently retired and living in semi seclusion in southwest England, she plansto “potter, paint, plant and plot” whilst studying Medieval History.



3 August - 27 September, The Snug

A contemporary celebration of iconic imagery of the tobacco industry

Deep in the heart of the M-shed stores, over 70 Lithographic stones have been stored, gathering a nice layer of dust and slowly disintegrating beyond recognition. These time forgotten stones, discovered in the blitzed basement of the Mardons printing house were once used to mass-produce the images from W.D and H.O Wills tobacco. A previous collaboration of two pillars of the Bristol history, producers of classic images well-known to this day.

The project brings these iconic prints into a contemporary setting. By inviting practicing artists, tech-companies, design-houses, illustrators and printmakers, to respond to the original images it will open doors into new developments in design. The influence of modern technology and contemporary styles will give a fresh face to the timeless pieces. They will come together in one multi-disciplinary, multi-facited exhibition, set where it all began..... The Tobacco Factory.




5 - 17 July, Main Bar


Opening night and signing on 5 July, 7-9pm.

In the run up to Upfest, get in early and check out the work of local lad and mutant love child of the hip hop and skate scenes, Cheo.



1 June - 16 July, The Snug

Paula Román is a Bristol based artist originally from Andalusia, Spain. Her portraits employ vivid colours and are sweet and tinged with innocence. A mixture of illustration and “lowbrow” works, they transform the ingenuity of infant nature with a touch of humour and a hint of darkness.

Enter into Paulosky's World and explore the gleeful, sometimes impish, and occasionally with the odd dose of sarcastic commentary. It is figurative art, rooted in animation and in opposition to contemporary art conceptualism.

Each artwork comes as a limited edition print, signed and numbered on archival watercolour paper.



30 May - 3 July, Main Bar

Menna Angharad studied art at Byam Shaw and at UWIC, Cardiff. She currently lives and works in mid Wales.

Most of the work originates from still life, the pillow and cloth paintings contemplate absence and presence.
A pillow beckons with tempting promises of sweet repose yet the looming darkness it inhabits is void-like; a black hole, oblivion from which there may be no return. The cloth and clothing paintings consider both formal materiality and inherent cultural associations.



20 April - 31 May, The Snug

Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people. Illustrators and artists share display their take on what brings them down and what brings them back up.

Come and explore an exhibition, on and around the shelves in The Snug, filled with little things to make you feel safe, and maybe some things that will make you squirm a little.

Profits from the show will be donated to Rethink Mental Illness.

The Sad Ghost Club / Graham Johnson / Liam Barrett / Clare Owen / Bethan Mure / Sophie Burrows / Bett Norris / Rox Butler / Tabitha Panter / Robbie Cathro / Sarah Burgess



2 - 29 May, Main Bar

The local art trail returns and we play host to some of the area's talented creatives, including:

Mike Rome
OSHE Design
Mary Price
Sarah Davis
Falle Batch
3rd Eye



2 - 30 April, Main Bar

Lady Strong's Bonfire presents The Bed

'Our Bed knows us best of all. It is holder of our dreams, comforter of our tears. It soaks up our blood, our sweat, and caresses us in the heat of our passions. It confines us. Heals us. Welcomes us when we arrive, and is the last to say goodbye to us when we leave. Here we are all naked. The Bed sees through all our disguises.'

Tomasin Cuthbert trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and is a Theatre Maker, Performer and Fine Artist. In her first solo exhibition at The Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar, her paintings explore the themes present in Lady Strong's Bonfire's new show, opening this May at The Wardrobe Theatre.

The Bed is the journey of a woman and is a celebration of some of the most potent times in her life. The times of changeover. Her gateway times from One to Other. Investigating the inner world of the Feminine, we don our animalistic disguises, and journey from domesticity, into the landscapes of the dream world.



24 February - 19 April, The Snug

A Loquacious Mind is a unique photography and illustration collaboration. The exhibition is a combination of the old and the new – using an alternative photographic process merged with modern illustration to create a beautiful art series. 

Romantic, distinctive and enchanting, the female subjects in the images are entwined with flowers, fluid lines and pattern; where eerie undertones undermine the delicacy of the subject matter. The series was originally inspired by the paintings of Alphonse Mucha.

The collaboration began with contemporary photographer, Joanna Ritchie. Her love of detail, pattern and shape spurred the idea of bringing together photographic imagery with elaborate illustration. The shooting process was the beginning of the creative journey with Lisa-Maria Thomas, a make-up artist inspired by art and colour; and Lucy Heather, a stylist from the world of high fashion, forming the back bone of the project. Later completing the artistic clan came Ollie Gooch, whose illustrations are intricate and stylized, perfectly finishing the images with unique patterns.

The pieces are produced using Gum Bichromate; an unpredictable Nineteenth Century method of printing using UV light, negatives and colour pigment. Combining this with Gum Arabic and Ammonium Bichromate, the end result is unique and exciting; no two images are the same. This technical method unites the photography and illustration, producing an emotive final image with a Victorian decorative aesthetic.

Since the debut exhibition in May 2014, the art collective have begun making a success in the world of weddings. From this, it seemed appropriate to feature real women in the place of models, entwining darkly lit female forms in A Loquacious Mind’s signature patterns. This series focuses more on texture, detail and shape.



29 February - 31 March, Main Bar

Stephen Quick is a Bristol based artist, live painter and YouTuber, his art represents contemporary culture by embracing and satirising our materialistic nature. His work is a mix of fine art and street art, mashing up media, as well as icons from different worlds.

Using spray paint, acrylic, ink, découpage and stencils, he creates mixed-media pieces, on walls and canvases, for the outside world, galleries and internet.

From his Bristol studio, ‘Splintered Studios’, his work sells worldwide. Recent highlights include painting at Upfest 2015, winning the PaintWorks Pop Up event, organising the South Bristol Arts Trail and surpassing 1 million views on YouTube.